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Old 12-26-2006, 09:12 AM   #1
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Question 2007 Ford Expedition EL

The writeup on the new extended version of the Expedition is positive in this months issue of Trailer Life. The price came down $5,000 from 2006 and the wheelbase has been extended by about 12 inches on the EL version. The tow capacity is around 9000 lbs depending on 4WD or not. I am thinking about an AS 25 which has a GVW of 7300 lbs. What do you think about towing this setup with the Expedition EL?
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:14 AM   #2
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My guess is that it would. I myself am not entirely comfortable towing a widebody 25' Airstream with a 7000+GVWR with a 1/2 ton truck. From the looks of the specs, it leads me to believe that it is in fact a 1/2 ton truck, which would be an apples to apples of a 1/2 ton Suburban.

I personally like the upgraded engine, trans, brakes, hubs of the 3/4 ton. Though I love the Suburban, I don't think I'd tow my current 25' with even the 1/2 ton burb.
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:23 AM   #3
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Hi outthere -- I'm glad you're sticking with us through your research process. The less working-world tow vehicles tend to not be as upfront with all the specs you need. Manufacturers probably don't sell as many for this purpose and probably stress other info instead. Yes, the prelims at Ford are positive for the Expy EL with the heavy duty trailer package. You'd want to ask what that package includes -- a tranny cooler would be a strong need. And you only want the 3.73 axle ratio -- avoid the 3.31 at all costs.

Max trailer weight will vary depending on installed optional equipment. I had to dig for another vital number that was not on the Ford website -- this is the maximum payload. Found it at Edmunds. This number is the difference between the maximum gross weight and the empty curb weight of the tow vehicle; it is the maximum burden that the tow vehicle can carry. You must fit any combination of fuel, driver, passengers, vehicle options, internal cargo and trailer hitch weight within this payload limit. The payload number is 1725# for the 2WD and 1775# for the 4WD.

25' Safaris without options leave the factory with a hitch weight from 720# to 860#. There's no way I'd have a newer, heavier 25' Airstream without the LS option package so I could have the electric hitch jack; the spare tire in that option does add to hitch weight. Along with aftermarket weight distribution gear installed, LP in the tanks, and any moderate personal gear onboard I feel a 25' FB SE would have a hitch weight approaching 1000#. The difference between that and the tow vehicle payload weights gives you adequate allowance for passengers in my opinion. You will always need to keep an eye on this to avoid overloading the tow vehicle.

Without direct experience, the Expedition LE should be able to handle a heavier (new) 25' Airstream. Similar size engines have worked well enough for this load. I had a Nissan Titan that did fine with a 5.6L -- but had very low payload capacity of around 1340#. The Expy's 5.4L may show significant slowness in mountain terrain. Bigger engines are definitely more reassuring with long-distance travels -- but you lose everyday fuel economy... always a tradeoff. With an Expy LE you just will not be able to upgrade trailer size beyond a 25' -- so be sure that is what you want to do. My Safari sleeps three easily and the dinette lowers readily for a fourth. I have reached my dream goal of Airstream size with my 25 -- it is a nice size compromise and fits into shorter campsites in Nat'l Forests and non-modernized state parks. Best wishes to you -- let us know what you settle on!
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:21 PM   #4
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Close call

Hi outthere,

I tend to agree with both Canoe stream ansd Silvertwinkle. One specific thought, I have owned an Expedition with basically the same V8 in the 4X4 model and found it could handle about 5000 lbs and still travel with some confidence. The new EL with its longer wheel base may increase this number, but the engine will keep you in the slow lane on most hills. Overall, any new 25' Airstream is best matched with a 3/4 ton TV. Of course this is only opinion and the new longer Expedition may be an exception.

John
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:00 PM   #5
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After looking around, unless I was getting an AS smaller than 25', I'd go 3/4 ton, preferably diesel to keep things working nice and easy... Of course you don't need a diesel, but I'm speaking for my own comfort level and ease of towing... Diesel vs. Gas is night and day when towing, IMHO. Try them and compare if you can.
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:11 PM   #6
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Is the diesel going to be an option for the EL?
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:33 PM   #7
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Diesel Maybe..

I talked at some length to Ford Marketing rep at SF Auto Show, where new Ford Edge was on turntable (pre-release) and new Expedition EL on stand where it was hard to get close or specs also...

He claimed it Exp EL was attempt to get much closer to Suburban/ Yukon XL without negative PR of Excursion, and frame beefier than standard Expedition. If it has standard Triton V8 at 5.4L, it will be a little challenged pulling a new 25 Classic uphill when loaded completely, but would be fine in relatively flat country or downhill ( as in braking and cornering..). Seems they put as much engineering effort into fold flat rear seats as they did in towing...

Finally, he said they were trying to get a diesel EPA and California certified, and would probably have one to offer in a while, but not real soon. Assume it would have to be new low particulate diesel...
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Old 12-26-2006, 09:20 PM   #8
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All the more reaosns I'll hang on to my Excursion!
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Old 12-26-2006, 09:57 PM   #9
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The 5.4 won't cut it with the 25' Classic and would be marginal at best with the Safari. I tow an '86 Sovereign 25' with a 2500hd, 8.1 litre engine, Allison 5 sp. auto, 3.73 rear end and wouldn't want anything smaller (6 litre engine with 4.10 rear excepted). Dry weight on my unit is 4900 lbs.
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Old 12-26-2006, 10:03 PM   #10
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Expediton EL

Hi, You would be within specs useing the new Expedition EL towing a 7,300 lb 25' Airstream; But pushing it some. My Navigator has about the same horsepower as the Expedition's 5.4 L 3 valve engine and very close on torque too, but my torque comes in at about 1,000 RPM less. That is why we chose a 6,300 lb 25' Safari. I personally don't ever plan on changeing trailers. [Upgrade as some call it] For two people, the 25' Airstream is just perfect for us. I do manually downshift on hills, down hill to help the brakes and up hill to maintain speed. So far I have been able to hold 55 to 60 Mph up hills with fairly high RPM and not full throttle.
As other's have said, but with my twist to this thought, 7,300 lb 25' and over you might want to look at a 3/4 Ton Truck as a tow vehicle. And 6,300 lb 25' and under you will be OK with a 1/2 Ton tow vehicle.
No science to this, Just my opinion.


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Old 12-26-2006, 10:32 PM   #11
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Keep in mind that the additional 1000lb GVWR of the new 25' units (and other models with the axle upgrades of 2005) over the older generations (ouch, my 2004 is an older generation) ... is that the axles were upgraded and the NCC increased. So if one were to load as they would have a 6300lb Safari, the weight of the Safari will remain the same, until more of the NCC is used.

There are some added weights with TVs, leather couches, subwoofers and such, but not anywhere near the 1000lb increase. From looking at the specs, it looks to me that the 1000lbs is nearly all NCC.

I truely hope GM gets their heads out of their collective behinds and gets the Duramax, even if it is the second gen Duramax into the burb as they seem to have with the 2500 work vans. Even with a modified 4L80e, a bad day with a Duramax could beat a great day with a gasser....at least towing....and mind you, I have a 6.0L gasser w/ 4.10s!
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:24 AM   #12
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The new Ford looks real nice, I wonder if they’ll put a diesel in it? A couple o’ thoughts on this. I would not want to tow anything over 6000# with ANY ½ ton vehicle. The previous Excursion, as you know, was on the HD chassis, this one, unfortunately is not. While it may have the hp and torque, it is still a ½ ton chassis (suspension, brakes, etc) . If you are in the market, I would say go for a ¾ ton, you will not be disappointed towing. Gas or diesel, your choice, but the HD chassis will make all the difference. As other have found out, it aint’ just the motor that makes the TV. Fact is you could get the weight to move with a Briggs and Stratton (see that cute VW clip going around where they hook up an SUV to a jet liner). That doesn’t mean you want to travel with your family like that. In all the posts related to TV, I have yet to see one of someone complaining that their ¾ ton was too much…

Someone else mentioned the Suburban, I was told by my Chevy dealer, and have read in some trade publications, that there will be a Duramax Suburban for 2008. No mention of an Allison though, I suspect that like the Chevy van (which has a diesel), there is not enough room under the hood for both the Allison and Duramax, probably will have the 4.

Outthere, if you are researching now for a purchase, while I am sure the new Ford is an awesome vehicle, as many have stated, it will be marginal for towing your AS. If you were talking about a 22’ (or smaller) camper you would be fine, but not with 7300#. Get the SUV for the wife, but invest in a ¾ ton for tow duty.
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:30 AM   #13
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A newer 25' Airstream is right at the limit for any half ton truck or SUV. If you you live in Florida and never leave the state, a half ton will probably work. A 3/4 ton vehicle is much more within the towing comfort zone.

Remember that a marginal tow vehicle is the single largest cause of perfectly good Airstreams becoming very expensive pieces of yard art.
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Old 12-27-2006, 10:25 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by BillTex
Someone else mentioned the Suburban, I was told by my Chevy dealer, and have read in some trade publications, that there will be a Duramax Suburban for 2008. No mention of an Allison though, I suspect that like the Chevy van (which has a diesel), there is not enough room under the hood for both the Allison and Duramax, probably will have the 4.
I do believe you are right on with the trans being a 4 series. Having taken a peek at the vans with the 2nd gen Duramax, looks like a stock 4L80e (most likely internally modified to handle the torque and such from the Duramax).

I wonder what the price tag would be for one.......
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